This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"That’s the thing about records, though. They’re set when the underlying conditions raise the baselines, and then an individual or team has an outlier year on top of that. Bob Gibson had a 1.12 ERA in 1968 because he was Bob Gibson, and because the league ERA dropped under 3.00. That spate of 60+ homer seasons at the turn of the century doesn’t happen if the overall environment -- and what I wouldn’t give to X-ray or deconstruct the baseballs from that era -- doesn’t allow for it. No one is going to win 30 games when the best starting pitchers make just 32 starts.
"The 2019 Orioles have an execrable pitching staff, and it’s pitching at a time when the penalty for throwing bad pitches is as high as it’s ever been."